Gay laws open door for child marriage: Australian senator

Canberra: Senator for South Australia, David Fawcett on Thursday warned parliament that recognising overseas gay marriages could force the country to recognise child marriages too. "If we start making changes against our sovereign law in the interests of one group then why not the other groups," Fawcett said.

"If we're going to be consistent ... then we need to start recognising things like child marriage, which I think clearly Australians would reject." Fawcett's claim came as the Senate debated a bill proposed by Greens Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, that would recognise overseas gay marriage, Xinhua news agency reported. Fellow Greens senator Robert Simms said that passing the bill into law would end the cruel inconsistencies that currently exist between states on the issue. South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill, for example, recently apologized to the husband of British man David Bulmer-Rizzi after he was killed in a freak accident while the couple was honeymooning in Adelaide. Bulmer-Rizzi's death certificate was stamped "never married" because South Australia does not recognise gay marriage and his husband Marco was not recognised as his next-of-kin when making funeral arrangements. Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland all recognise overseas same-sex marriage in state law, leaving only South Australia and Western Australia as the only states that do not.